Never worn a pair of boots? Don’t know a stirrup from a steer? Think Reba McEntire’s just a sitcom star? No worries. We’ll show you how it’s done. Our essential guide to the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo covers everything—can’t-miss events, the hottest tickets, how to get onto the best rodeo committees, what makes a champion steer, and lots, lots more. A few minutes with our experts and you’ll be saying This ain’t my first rodeo in no time.

In This Feature:

Our Buckaroo Bucket List

The top 10 things every Houstonian must do at the Livestock Show & Rodeo

02/02/2014 By Amber Ambrose

When Cowboys Get Hurt

What? It’s just losing a finger.

02/02/2014 By Peter Holley

The Anatomy of a Stellar Steer

What turns an everyday bovine into a winner?

02/02/2014 By Catherine Matusow

A Rodeo Food Preview

From ice cream–stuffed cupcakes and meat sundaes to salads, this year’s vendors have something for everybody.

02/02/2014 By Katharine Shilcutt

Why Yes, This Is My First Rodeo

A rodeo novice confronts his prejudices (plus tips for rodeo rookies).

02/02/2014 By Michael Hardy

Rodeo Houston by the Numbers

How many pounds of chocolate-covered bacon do people eat!?

02/02/2014 By Katharine Shilcutt

The Barbecue Cook-Off, Populist No More

The World Championship Barbecue Cook-off is an exclusive affair (unless you know the right people).

02/02/2014 By Robb Walsh

Cowboys and Cabernet

The wine round-up is one of the most successful events at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

02/02/2014 By Katharine Shilcutt

The Rodeo’s Finest Wares

Becoming a vendor at the rodeo is a much-coveted and difficult-to-achieve prize. Here are our editor’s favorites.

02/02/2014 By Amber Ambrose

The Return of Reba

A self-described “third-generation Rodeo brat,” the country icon prepares to make her 18th appearance in Houston.

02/02/2014 By Peter Holley

Video: When Cowboys Get Hurt

Ever wondered how it feels to have a raging bull step on your chest?

02/03/2014 By Peter Holley

Rodeo History: A Ten-Gallon Tale

The histories of this town and its rodeo are tightly intertwined.

02/02/2014 By John Nova Lomax